2009 Congressional Academy


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A presentation on selecting and narrowing research topics.

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2009 Congressional Academy

  1. 1. Deciding a Project Topic: Being Prepared for your Adventure! Megan Wood, State Coordinator, National History Day in Ohio
  2. 2. Introductions •Who are you? •Where are you from? •What brings you here?
  3. 3. Agenda •Working as a Team •Choosing a Topic •The Business of Congressional Academy
  4. 4. Working as a Team •Deciding roles •Accountability to the team •Resolving conflict •Being committed to the cause Fill out Group Work Contract
  5. 5. Choosing Your Topic • What are you interested in? • Are there resources available? • Is it a narrow topic? • Can you develop a research question?
  6. 6. Choosing Your Topic Example 1: Eddie Rickenbacker was born in Columbus, OH on October 8, 1890 and he grew up liking machines. In 1910 he started racing cars. He joined the U.S. Army during World War I. After the war he started an automobile company that was financially unsuccessful. He worked for the military during World War II and was almost killed in a plane crash. He died on July 27, 1973.
  7. 7. Choosing Your Topic Example 2: Ohioan Eddie Rickenbacker served his country during both World Wars, worked as a race car driver, and worked to advance the technology of the automobile industry. Rickenbacker started his own car company after World War I where the braking system would work on all four tires. While the company failed, his idea spread so that eventually, all cars had four-wheel braking systems.
  8. 8. Choosing Your Topic Broad Vs. Narrow BROAD NARROW
  9. 9. Choosing Your Topic
  10. 10. Choosing Your Topic Research Question: What do you want to know about your topic? Refines and defines your research. How did ________ impact/change/effect _______? Def. Impact: 3.influence; effect: the impact of Einstein on modern physics. 5.the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology: the impact of the industrial revolution.
  11. 11. Choosing Your Topic 1. Talk about at your broad topic 2. Use the chart to make it a narrow topic 3. Come up with a research question 4. Pick a spokesperson
  12. 12. Choosing Your Topic
  13. 13. The Business of It All Time Management To accomplish: -Topic Selection/Research Question -Research -Project Creation -Public Presentation -Budget Tracking -Reporting -What else? Factors to consider: -School -Sports Keep your final -Testing deadline in mind! -Procrastination -Holidays -Life
  14. 14. The Business of It All My Advice: •Make it easy on yourself- identify available local resources •Don’t get carried away with the details until you have a grasp on the research •If a project isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to move on to another topic. •Think narrow! •Illuminate a new and interesting story •Make sure to examine HISTORY not CURRENT EVENTS •Be creative- creativity is cheap and easy! •Make deadlines NOW that you intend to honor •Do a lot of work early on- it helps avoid the last minute rush •Listen to Becki- she’s been there, she’s the boss!
  15. 15. Questions? Contact Info: Megan Wood mwood@ohiohistory.org (find me there on facebook) 614.297.2343 www.slideshare.net/meganwood